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UK Power Networks team happy to muck in for young farmers club

A team of workers at UK Power Networks were more than happy to muck in and help as volunteers at a local young farmers club.

From Press releases - 4 July 2017 12:00 AM

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More than a dozen staff at the company which owns and operates the electricity networks in the East of England, London and the South East, took part in the volunteering day for Cobtree Young Farmers in Sandling.

The group is headed by Mark Essex, a project manager at UK Power Networks and he roped in colleagues to dig up muck heaps and spead around 70 tonnes of muck to free up more space on the land.

The volunteers also put in gateposts for new fencing, cleared overgrown plantation and collected and disposed of rubbish within a building set to house a new clubroom.

Cobtree Young Farmers club has around 25 members all aged between 10 and 19 and, among other duties, they help feed a range of animals who live there including 12 cattle, 20 sheep and around half-a-dozen pigs.

UK Power Networks, which delivers Kent’s electricity supplies, gives staff two days paid leave each year to volunteer or fund raise in their local community. Last year staff gave over 2,700 hours to good causes in their communities through the company’s volunteering scheme.

UK Power Networks has close links with the farming industry through its safety messaging around the potential dangers of electricity.

The team were happy to dig deep for a good cause, putting in the spadework to help improve facilities at the site which neighbours the Kent Live attraction.

Mark Essex, a project manager for Connections at UK Power Networks who lives and works in Maidstone, said: “I run the young farmers club on the site, we’re always glad of extra help as we don’t have any external funding so have to be self-sufficient.

“I run the club and take overall responsibility for it. The young volunteers we have come in every Saturday, not all the youngsters are from a farming background, but have an interest in it either as a hobby or a potential career.

”We have had former members who have gone on to become shepherds, dairy farmers and even three who have become vets. Others have gone on to do unrelated jobs, but they have all benefited from and enjoyed their experience, it’s a way to keep active.

“It was a great team-building exercise and I’m really grateful to my 16 UK Power Networks colleagues for giving so much to the day in what was very hot weather. We all started at 830am and many of us were still there after 6pm.

“The youngsters came in last weekend to look at what had been done and I know they were really appreciative of everyone’s efforts because the work done in a day would have taken us months to complete ourselves, it’s really made a positive difference.”